Selling Collaboratively in 2015

colabb saleI just finished “The Collaborative Sale” form Keith Eades and Tim Sullivan. It made me want to re-read the New Solution Selling to see how the main principles from Solution Selling evolved over the last 10 years in the eyes of the authorsIt was actually very interesting to read that 10 years ago (pre-recession), Solution Selling was already defined as a “mutually agreed upon answer to a recognized problem that provides measurable improvements”. Back in 2004, the Solution selling philosophy was already customer centric by focusing on the problem, the map was metrics based (use of irrefutable scientific data) and the sales management system was promoting that between eagles (top performers) who “wing it”, and journey people (B performers) who followed a process, journey people would eventually end up winners…this was pretty visionary in my humble opinion when – back then- we used to say that culture eats strategy for breakfast every morning…or that with the right people you can do anything anyway…don’t worry about the process or the organization too much…(by the way 14 years ago I was not an eagle sales manager -far from it- I made all the mistakes a newly appointed sales manager makes and got almost killed from them. BUT, even starting as a lower than average “journey sales manager”, I became an eagle sales manager only a few years later and built my business from it just by learning the process of leading sales people to success – it’s that simple…once you understand the WHY, you will always be able to figure out the HOW later)Now as I read through “the collaborative sale” which was written 10 years later and provided new material that builds upon the solution selling philosophy, 3 main new things came from my reading that I want to share with you and your sellers as you help them transform and become more “sales 2.0” in their role in 2015:

#1 we need to engage with buyer2.0 (I did not invent that term, they did) way before she/he knows there may be a problem and that is the new marketing function of your sellers today and tomorrow – It’s called Micro-marketing and it will help align marketing with sales a lot faster through your sales reps once they start embracing those new habits.

#2 The visualizer skill your sales people need to develop now builds upon becoming a consultant and a trusted advisor for the prospect – it’s being able to paint the picture of a better future for their prospects thanks to a more collaborative approach that’s “neutral” and as much as possible independent of what we offer (200% customer centric at the beginning of the buying cycle)

#3 The value driver skill which spans from the beginning of their buying process to the end of our own sales process is the ability for our sales people to switch from a customer vision and value to a solution vision and value. As the “collaboration” bears fruit, it creates a combined view which focuses on customer value that changes at every stage of the buying cycle by the way..

These are just 3 area of focus as you develop your sales people in 2015 to their next level in this new 2.0 world and there are plenty of new content in the collaborative sales that I won’t be able to discuss here today – but another thing I got from only these 3 new “emerging” skills is that sales people now have to deal with a much more “dynamic” sales process that changes all the time based on the client buying process.

The only thing that won’t change next year, is – as we all know- change itself…!

Our job – as sales managers – of managing the unmanageable and making the number, is going to get quite interesting as our sales people develop new better “chameleon skills” that help them switch back and forth from buying cycle to selling cycle to decision cycle…

We’d better get our new Value added inspection questions sharpened, our sales management process nailed down and our own new “coaching 2.0” skills ready

new sol selling


About Philippe Le Baron

is the authority on sales force productivity and sales management effectiveness. He's a sought-after corporate trainer to small businesses and global corporations like ORACLE, NCR and EMC. He's an accomplished entrepreneur. Philippe's focus is to get your new reps as productive as possible as fast as possible. His clients benefit from his revolutionary online programs developed under the

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